Morality And Disappointment: Two Themes Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Essay Paper: #41189630 Related Topics: Araby, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Theme, Flannery O Connor
Excerpt from Essay :

Traditions and traditional ways of doing things are considered good or moral, while modern times are considered worse than the past and immoral. At the end of the short story, it is the grandmother who is continually insisting that "The Misfit" is actually good inside, begging for him to find his own sense of morality.

"Araby," however, offers an almost opposite view of morality. While readers of "A Good Man is Hard To Find" are barraged with the grandmother's ideas of morality and instructions on how to be more moral, the main character in "Araby" practices an internal monitoring of his morality. For instance, the main character assesses the Priest who lived in the family's home as a tenant, thinking him generous because he gave away all of his possessions upon his death. Further, at the end of the story, the main character has the chance to evaluate his own morality again. Up until the end of the story, Managan's sister, the woman that he is infatuated with, has been consuming his thoughts, becoming his only morality. He thinks, speaks, and acts only for her. At the end of the story, when he is disenchanted with the bizarre, Araby, he evaluates his own morality and feels vane, his eyes "burn[ing] with anguish and anger" (Joyce 289). Thus, the main characters in these two stories are very different when it comes to morality, despite the fact that both stories discuss morality and even Christian morality. In "A Good Man is Hard to Find," it is the grandmother who preaches her morality of the past and Protestantism to anyone who will listen. In "Araby," however, the main character chooses his morality through introspection and evaluation.

In addition to the theme of morality, both "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and "Araby" share themes of disappointment. Both O'Connor's traveling family in "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and the unnamed main character in Joyce's "Araby" suffer disappointment at the end of the stories. For O'Connor's family, the disappointment is severe and shocking; they are killed. The grandmother is the one who is most seriously disappointed,...


The main character in "Araby," on the other hand, is disappointed by himself, and his childish notions of the bazaar and love. Imagining the bazaar to be a wonderfully romantic place, he is disappointed when he finds that it is filled with greed and less than idealized events. He is also disappointed when he realizes his imaginary affair with Managan's sister is, indeed, imaginary, something that Joyce implies the main character discovers while at the bazaar. Thus, disappointment is a major theme of both stories that becomes apparent at the end of the stories.

Still, the two stories share great differences considering the theme of disappointment. In "A Good Man is Hard To Find," O'Connor implies that the disappointment is something that cannot be used in a productive manner. All of the story's protagonists are dead; nothing positive remains. Not even the Misfit, who has regarded the grandmother's suggestion that he can be good, can grow from the event. In "Araby," however, the main character simply learns a fact of life, something that almost everyone learns during childhood or adolescence. He realizes that the real world is not always as romantic as the idealized notions he has had in his play. Although he is disappointed at the end of the story, Joyce implies that the character can learn from this, avoiding false disappointment in the future, and perhaps even making a better life for himself.

Thus, although they are written by very different authors about different subjects, both O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and Joyce's "Araby" share similar themes of morality and disappointment. Within those themes, however, the two stories are both similar and different. A comparison of the story, then, allows readers to make grand assumptions about what the author may have been trying to imply through the stories. Perhaps the comparison of these two works suggests that O'Connor embraced the absence of…

Cite this Document:

"Morality And Disappointment Two Themes" (2009, May 03) Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

"Morality And Disappointment Two Themes" 03 May 2009. Web.17 October. 2021. <>

"Morality And Disappointment Two Themes", 03 May 2009, Accessed.17 October. 2021,

Related Documents
Morality Then and Now the
Words: 7400 Length: 17 Pages Topic: Music Paper #: 97224467

This is the perfect way to end this poem. The ending is in fact effective and consistent. The entire time, the duke speaks about how it was to have his wife besides him and how much he did not agree with her behavior. He then makes an insinuation that it was him in fact that had her killed. The ending leaves the reader in a sort of shock. The lines,

Johnson's "The Vanity" Jonson's Theme -- So
Words: 730 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 98099530

Johnson's "The Vanity" Jonson's theme -- so often stated in his major writings, particularly in "Rasselas" - is the dangerous but all-pervasive power of wishful thinking, the feverish intrusion of desires and hopes that distort reality and lead to false expectations, where we picture things as one would like them to be, not as they are. Social psychologists would call this self-deception, and indeed evolutionary psychology teaches us that wishful

Visions of Vitality and Morality
Words: 2970 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 89869634

He was attuned to her; he understood such things. He said he understood." Her helplessness and general withdrawal from the family are emphasized when she realizes that she cannot find a role that suits her: "she tried these personalities on like costumes, then discarded them." Again, as in the case of Chopin's story, the conflict is internal as the character is revolting against itself. At first, the woman thinks

Great Gatsby the Prevailing Theme
Words: 802 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 3420864

However, his single focus on getting Daisy's green light, something he cannot have, creates a motive of greed in Gatsby that he is unable to control and eventually destroys him. For example, Nick talks of Gatsby's idealization of Daisy by saying: "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his

Third Man Themes of Empathy
Words: 733 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 3569015

The other important plot insight offered by this description is Martins' vulnerability to women in particular, which with the introduction of the deceptive Anna to the narrative, would become a prime operant in his misjudgments and entanglements. The resolution which finds them somehow coming together suggests that this vulnerability is damning in Martins, who somehow finds a way to forgive the moral trespasses of this alluring woman even as he

Compare and Contrast the 2 Antigone Characters
Words: 2900 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 62266829

Antigones Antigone depicts the human stubbornness towards accepting what is supposed to be good for him and hence in the later part shows the pain and suffering man goes through by disobeying his Almighty which is the result of man refusing to accept destiny and circumstances. The counter side of human behavior shown in this dramatic poetry is that man, instead following his creator, listens to an inside character that